Dhanvantari Ayurveda Center  Michael Dick, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Leesburg, Florida    e-mail: md@ayurveda-florida.com

 

     

The Ayurvedist®

Volume VI Issue 3                                                                                                                 May 2009  

Health and Science in the News

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Angel of the Waters, found in Central Park, NYC is symbolic of the healing effects of water. This is true in the West as in the East, now and into the ancient past.

In This Issue  Health in the News and More....

1

General News

2

Folk Medicine

3

Ginger Study

4

Scientific Studies--Daily Routine and Disease

5

Book Corner -- Surya Chikitsa Colour Therapy for Common Diseases  Dr. Mohan Lal Kathotia

 

General News:

 

A homeopathic products manufacturer had its rights to produce upheld in court recently. The court held that the firm's right to due process had been impaired by actions of the Washington State Department of Health, which aimed to discredit, harass, malign, and impede production. Consumer right to access was affirmed by the ruling.

 

Folk Medicine:

 

Water subjected to magnetic field experiences higher melting point, shows a different near-infrared spectrum and refractive index, and causes water to bind in smaller groups, researchers in Japan and elsewhere found.  This latter finding implies that water molecules can enter the cell membrane easier, carrying foods and wastes more easily.

 

Ginger:

The Many Benefits of Ginger (Source: Julie Klotter, "Shorts," Townsend Letter, February/March 2009, pp45-46)
"To call ginger a digestive herb is an understatement," Paul Schulick says in his well-written book Ginger: Common Spice & Wonder Drug. Ginger {Zingiber officinale) contains potent digestive enzymes, most notably the proteolytic enzyme zingibain. This spice actually balances the digestive system. It eases diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. Ginger kills parasites and inhibits gut pathogens while it encourages beneficial flora. It also protects against ulcers, reducing total gastric juice volume as H2-receptor antagonists (e.g., Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet) do, but without disturbing pepsin-pH interaction. In addition to its digestive benefits, ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. The proteolytic enzymes, along with antioxidants and eicosanoid-modulating compounds, have relieved pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Dr. K. C. Srivastava, a Danish researcher, and others have completed clinical studies, lasting three to six months, that show "ginger is more effective than [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis relief] and without serious side effects." Schulick says that its ability to balance the eicosanoid cascade is "the most remarkable and probably important principle action of ginger." Eicosanoids, which include prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes, are compounds produced from dietary fat, primarily arachidonic acid. Eicosanoid compounds have hormonal- like regulatory properties and affect every organ system. Some eicosanoids promote inflammation, and have also been associated with arthritis; cancer; asthma; insulin resistance; and cardiovascular, pulmonary, and renal diseases. Ginger inhibits at least two enzymes needed to convert dietary fat into eicosanoids: 5-lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase. A 1982 Japanese study found that ginger contains four components that are "more potent inhibitors  of prostaglandins than indomethacin," a strong chemical eicosanoid inhibitor. Further, clinicals studies have shown that ginger actually balances eicosanoid ratios. "As tempting as it is to classify one eicosanoid as positive and another as negative," Schulick writes, "the reality is that the ratio or proportion with the others is probably most critical." Traditional Chinese Medicine treats each form of ginger - fresh, dried, steamed, roasted - as a separate drug. Processing accentuates different properties. An alcohol extract, for example, has more effect on pepsin production than a water extract. A honey-ginger syrup increases the spice's anti-ulcer effect. Srivastava reported on a 50-year- old man who eliminated the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis in three months by eating about 50 grams (about 7 tsp.) of lightly cooked fresh ginger each day with his meat and vegetables. "Things would be much easier if there were only one type of ginger product to recommend," Schulick writes. "Fortunately for the consumer, it can be argued that benefit can be gained from them all. One cannot go wrong with the following recommendation: Consume ginger in both the fresh and dry forms, if possible." Ginger has no negative effects, but it may increase or lessen the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and other therapies. Some people may also experience discomfort if they take large amounts right away. In such cases, Schulick recommends decreasing the dosage, and taking the spice with food and plenty of juice or water.

 

Schulick P. Ginger: Common Spice & Wonder Drug. 3rd ed. Prescott, Arizona: Hohm Press; 1996.
Ottoboni A, Ottoboni F. The Modern Nutritional Diseases: and how to prevent them. Sparks, NV: Vincente Books; 2002.
 

 

Scientific Studies:

 

Note: The following studies support the dinacarya (daily routine) concept of Ayurveda--regular lifestyle/routine is universally advocated by ancient and modern practitioners. The mechanisms that support the Ayurvedic guidelines are now being investigated and elucidated by modern science. In the wake of the swine H1N1 virus outbreak those wanting to maximize healthy physiology should take note of these findings. Good health depends upon doing the right thing at the right time. - Mike

 

 

Adverse metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of circadian misalignment
Frank A. J. L. Scheera,b,1, Michael F. Hiltona,2, Christos S. Mantzorosb,c, and Steven A. Sheaa,b
aDivision of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115; bHarvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, MA 02115;
and cDivision of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215

PNAS March 17, 2009 vol. 106 no. 11 4453–4458

 

There is considerable epidemiological evidence that shift work is associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, perhaps the result of physiologic maladaptation to chronically sleeping and eating at abnormal circadian times. To begin to understand underlying mechanisms, we determined the effects of such misalignment between behavioral cycles (fasting/ feeding and sleep/wake cycles) and endogenous circadian cycles on metabolic, autonomic, and endocrine predictors of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk. Ten adults (5 female) underwent a 10-day laboratory protocol, wherein subjects ate and slept at all phases of the circadian cycle—achieved by scheduling a recurring 28-h ‘‘day.’’ Subjects ate 4 isocaloric meals each 28-h ‘‘day.’’ For 8 days, plasma leptin, insulin, glucose, and cortisol were measured hourly, urinary catecholamines 2 hourly (totaling 1,000 assays/ subject), and blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac vagal modulation, oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio, and polysomnographic sleep daily. Core body temperature was recorded continuously for 10 days to assess circadian phase. Circadian misalignment, when subjects ate and slept 12 h out of phase from their habitual times, systematically decreased leptin ( 17%, P < 0.001), increased glucose ( 6%, P < 0.001) despite increased insulin ( 22%, P 0.006), completely reversed the daily cortisol rhythm (P < 0.001), increased mean arterial pressure ( 3%, P 0.001), and reduced sleep efficiency ( 20%, P < 0.002). Notably, circadian misalignment caused 3 of 8 subjects (with sufficient available data) to exhibit postprandial glucose responses in the range typical of a prediabetic state. These findings demonstrate the adverse cardiometabolic implications of circadian misalignment, as occurs acutely with jet lag and chronically with shift work.

 

 

Obeying the clock yields benefits for metabolism
Kathryn Moynihan Ramseya,b and Joseph Bassa,b,1
aDepartment of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, bDepartment of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

PNAS March 17, 2009 vol. 106 no. 11 4069–4070

 

In agreement with findings on altered leptin production, Scheer et al. (6) also observed that postprandial glucose excursion and insulin production was increased following circadian disruption. Because the elevation of insulin was insufficient to prevent increased levels of glucose, we can infer that misalignment creates an acute deficit in the capacity of endocrine pancreas to compensate for insulin resistance. It will be important to learn whether deficits in glucose disposal after a meal arise because of impairment at the level of liver, fat, or muscle, or some combination of these 3 sites. Given the absence of either increased catecholamines in urine or hypercortisolinemia in the misaligned subjects, it is does not appear that the observed disturbance of glucose metabolism arises simply as a consequence of increased activity of autonomic output or hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal loops. One word of caution is that we still do not know whether misalignment alters the rhythmic increase in growth hormone that occurs during sleep, a factor in regulating hepatic gluconeogenesis at night (14). Since, both hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia primarily emerge in the postprandial state, it is possible that meal-associated factors such as deficiency of gut-derived incretin hormones may contribute to impaired glucose metabolism after circadian misalignment (15). Indeed, circadian control of glucose metabolism has been well characterized in previous clinical studies, and it is axiomatic for those who suffer from diabetes and those who care for these individuals to recognize that requirement for insulin and the capacity to metabolize glucose varies profoundly across the day and night. Whereas rodent studies suggest that some of the diurnal variation in glucose control derives from outputs of the central circadian pacemaker via autonomic innervation of liver and fat (16), it will also be important to better understand whether peripheral tissue clock function plays a primary role in glucose homeostasis in both the basal and misaligned conditions in humans. In addition to the aforementioned disorders of glucose and leptin regulation, Scheer et al. (6) also observed that circadian misalignment resulted in mild but significant hypertension, indicating that over the long term, cumulative cardiovascular risk may increase as a result of circadian misalignment. So what have we now learned regarding human rhythms and cardiometabolic health? A parsimonious summary would be to conclude that periodic variation in behavioral and physiological rhythms is advantageous and even necessary to maintain normal glucose metabolism in otherwise healthy individuals. In fact, the general disregard for timing, in cycles of feeding, sleep, and activity, is equally pervasive in our modern patterns of reduced sleep, shift work, and 24/7 activity. The problem also extends to our analytic approach to studies of metabolism where we frequently overlook the crucial dimension of time. Thus, it should no longer escape us to recognize that we have taken timing for granted, despite its centrality to maintaining metabolic health.

 

Book Corner: Surya Chikitsa -- Colour Therapy for Common Diseases by Dr. Mohan Lal Kathotia

The preface introduces the author as an expert in yoga, meditation and spirituality, who through inner vision experienced colors emanating from his body during meditation. He concluded that this an indication of the nature of life and that healing could be fostered through color therapy. With the encouragement of his guru he pursued reading and experimentation with colored light as a therapeutic modality. This book is a summary primarily of his anecdotal, clinical experiences in India with color, magnets, gems, sound, karma, and spiritual therapies. He states that the roots of the importance of color were posited in the Vaisheshika darshana in its enumeration of the 24 qualities of substance (6 primary colors -- red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white). As the students of Ayurveda well know, color is important in diagnosis/assessment as they point to the causative substances--the doshas. But the classical Ayurvedic literature does not take us into the area of treatment with colored light, oils, magnets etc. We know that gems have color and these are explicitly prescribed for spiritual maladies in the classical texts.

 

For Kathotia, the 7 rainbow colors of light are grouped thusly: red, yellow, orange; green; blue, indigo, violet. He states for therapeutic purposes orange, green, and blue are all that are necessary to treat any disease (p. 16). For this reason he explained how to make these 3 colored, charged medicines only:

 

Orange--heating, expanding, stimulating, and alkalizing; mainly effects the stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys and the intestines; improves blood circulation and keeps the muscles healthy and cures shrinkage. Indications: phlegm, cough, fever, pneumonia, influenza, breathing problems, tuberculosis, lung trouble, abdominal gas, nervous disorders, heart disease, gout, paralysis, indigestion, low RBC count, overweight, weakness, dysmenorrhea, excessive urine and bed-wetting.

 

Green--neutral harmonizing, and eliminating; perks up body and mind, balances body chemistry, builds muscles and gives energy, strengthens nerve centers and the brain, purifies the blood and expels foreign matter from body. Indications: gas related problems, fevers like typhoid and malaria, liver problems, inflammation of the kidneys, skin problems, small pox, boils, pimples, eczema, intestinal disorders, eye troubles, stomachache, diabetes, boils, dry cough and cold, ulcers, warts, cancer, gonorrhea, headaches, nervous trouble, (high) blood pressure.

 

Blue--cooling, contracting, acidifying, antiseptic, affects mostly the mouth, throat, up to the brain, removes swellings caused by wind in the body, helps cure burning sensations of any kind. Indications: ailments caused by excess bile, high fever, headaches, burning sensation, sunstroke, internal hemorrhage, high blood pressure, insomnia, hysteria, mental disorders, tonsillitis, swelling of gums, toothache, pyorrhea, blisters and ulcers or mouth, dermatitis, diarrhea, dysentery, vomiting, nausea, cholera, poisonous insect bite, any kind of poison in the system including food poisoning, excessive bleeding, leucorrhoea, epilepsy, jaundice, excessive thirst, burns on the body.

 

Solarized Water: Take a clean bottle of the same color as the medicine to be prepared. Fill it with clean drinking water, leaving a small part of the bottle empty. Close the lid and keep it in the sun for 6-8 hours. Medicines, so prepared, can be administered fro 4-5 days. It takes less time for the medicine to be ready if the sun is strong. But in rainy season or cloudy weather, it may take 2-3 days. Orange medicine is to taken within 15-30 minutes after meals; green and blue are to be taken on an empty stomach or one hour before meals. For green in early morning on empty stomach 6-8 ounces can be taken--for cleansing.

Dosage: adults (12+ years) 2oz three times daily; infants 1 tsp. per day; 1-5 yrs 1 ounce per day; acute conditions half dose every two hours. Mixing colors is ok. Read this book to learn  how to colorize ghee and other media.

 

 


Site Map (Table of Contents of Entire Ayurveda Website)


(C) Copyright 1994 - 2015  Michael Dick All Rights Reserved www.ayurveda-florida.com Dhanvantari Ayurveda Center / Ayurveda Education Programs